Fenn, Michael

Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Michael Fenn received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Florida J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, working under Distinguished Professor Panos M. Pardalos. He worked in conjunction with both the Particle Engineering Research Center (PERC) and the Center for Applied Optimization (CAO) at the University of Florida. Dr. Fenn has a broad base of practical research experience and interests in the areas of Raman spectroscopy, Biophotonics, Nanomaterials (characterization and synthesis), Nanomedicine, Data Mining, Oncology, Cancer Cell Biology, and Surgery. Dr. Fenn received his B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Florida in 2007.


Subsequently, he worked for a private company in neurosurgery and orthopedic surgery as a technician of intraoperative neurophysiology based out of Martin Memorial Hospital in Stuart, Florida. He then worked as a laboratory technician at the Particle Engineering Research Center (PERC) at the University of Florida, while working primarily on the development of multi-modal silica and gold nanoparticles with combination capabilities of multiple-imaging modalities (e.g. NIR fluorescence, MRI contrast, CT contrast), drug delivery and photodynamic therapy for simultaneous diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. While pursuing his master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering he interned as a research assistant at Bristol-Myers Squibb (New Brunswick, NJ) working in the Materials Science Solid State Chemistry Research Group investigating the role of particle size for micro- and nano-particulate-based pharmaceutical formulation. He went on to receive M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida and a Graduate Certificate in Materials Characterization. He then went on to graduate with his Ph.D. from the University of Florida J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering. His research focused on the use Raman Spectroscopy for oncology-based applications. He successfully obtained Ph.D. funding as co-author of the University of Florida Seed Opportunity Fund Award for the use of Raman spectroscopy and advanced data mining methods for developing a platform for the in-vitro evaluation of anti-cancer agents. Dr. Fenn also co-edited/co-authored the textbook New Materials and Technologies for Healthcare, with Prof. Larry L. Hench and Dr. Julian Jones, which was used for teaching a tissue engineering and biomaterials course.


Dr. Fenn’s current research interest involve continuing to work on the development of applications of Raman spectroscopy combined with advanced data mining methods for cancer research and diagnosis. He is also interested in nano-biophotonics and nano-biosensors. By combining his background in bio-nanomaterials (i.e. multimodal nanoparticles), Raman spectroscopy and oncology he is looking to develop Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) applications for improved cancer diagnostics as well as for basic cancer biology research. He interested in developing multi-modal gold nanoparticles by combining SERS with fluorescence imaging capabilities for better understanding of the tumor microenvironment and extracellular matrix (ECM), and particularly the role of fibronectin and integrins in tumor progression and metastasis. He is also interested in the use of Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) for single molecule investigation of the ECM, integrins and mechanotransduction in tumor progression, wound healing and fibrosis.

Educational Background

Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, December 2007
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Specialization in Biochemistry

Masters in Materials Science and Engineering, May 2011
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Awarded Graduate Certificate in Materials Characterization, EDGE Program Spring 2010
Awarded ICBR Certificate in Mammalian Cell Culture

Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, August 2013
J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Thesis title: A Raman spectroscopic-based Platform Using Advanced Data Mining Methods for In-Situ Cancer Cell Classification and Characterization

Recognition & Awards

Member of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) 
Member of The American Chemical Society (ACS) 
Member of The American Association for the Advancement of Science 
Member of The Society of Biomaterials 
Member of the American Cancer Society 
Member of Florida Education Association 

Current Courses

Biomaterials in Spring of 2013

Biomechanics and Biomaterials Lab in Fall of 2014

Additional Duties

Developing a Continuing Eduction (CE) certificate in Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering, and Regenertive Medicine 

Selected Publications

1. Fenn, M.B., Pappu, V., Georgeiv, P., Pardalos, P.M. (2013) Raman spectroscopy utilizing Fisher-based feature selection combined with support vector machines for the characterization of breast cancer cell lines. Journal of Raman Spectroscopy. 44(7); 939-948.
2. Fenn, M.B., Calhoun, S.K., Jiaxing, P., Stozhkov, V.D., Pardalos, P.M. (2013) A Raman Spectroscopic study of the effects of Paclitaxel and Camptothecin on breast cancer cells. Journal of Biophotonics. [Article in Progress].
3. Fenn, M.B., Guarracino M.B., Calhoun, S.K., Stozhkov, V.D., Pardalos, P.M. (2013) Investigation of the differential effects of six anti-cancer agents on breast cancer cells using Raman Spectroscopy and advanced data mining. Journal of Biomedical Optics. [Article in Progress].
4. Fenn, M.B. and Pappu, V. (2012) Data Mining for Cancer Biomarkers with Raman Spectroscopy (Chapter 8). Data Mining for Biomarker Discovery. Pardalos P.M., Xanthopoulos, P., Zervakis, M. (Eds.) Series in Springer Optimization and its Applications, Vol. 65; 143-168. Springer Publishing.
5. Fenn, M.B., Pappu, V., Xanthopoulos, P., Pardalos, P.M. (2011) Data Mining and Optimization Applied to Raman Spectroscopy for Oncology Applications. Proceedings of BIOMAT 2011, 11th International Symposium on Mathematical and Computational Biology. Santiago, Chile. November Pp. 83-108.
6. Fenn, M.B., Xanthopoulos, P., Pyrgiotakis G., Grobmyer S.R., Pardalos, P.M., Hench, L.L. (2011) Raman Spectroscopy for Clinical Oncology. Advances in Optical Technologies. Vol. 2011; 1-20. Article ID 213783. doi:10.1155/2011/213783.
7. Wang, L., Ni, H., Yang, R., Pappu, V., Fenn, M.B., Pardalos, P.M. (2013) Feature Selection Based on Meta-heuristics for Biomedicine. Optimization Methods and Software. [Article in Press].
8. Hench, L.L. and Fenn, M.B. (2013) Sources and Resolutions of Conflicts in Healthcare. Ethics in Biology, Engineering, and Medicine. 3:1-3; 139-161.
9. Hench, L.L. and Fenn, M.B. (2013) Ceramics for Human Health Challenges. Proceedings of the 37th International Conference on Advanced Ceramics and Composites. Jan 27th 2013; Daytona Beach, Florida.
10. Grochowski, A.C. and Fenn, M.B. (2011) Cartilage Regeneration (Chapter 10) New Materials and Technologies for Healthcare. Hench, L.L, Jones, J., Fenn, M.B. (Editors) Imperial College Press. London and Singapore
11. Placencio, K., Jefferson, T.F., Fenn, M.B. (2011) Artificial Skin and Wound Dressings (Chapter 15) New Materials and Technologies for Healthcare. Hench, L.L, Jones, J., Fenn, M.B. (Editors) Imperial College Press. London and Singapore.
12. Young, C. and Fenn, M.B. (2011) Stem Cell Research for Treatment of Parkinson’s disease (Chapter 27). New Materials and Technologies for Healthcare. Hench, L.L, Jones, J., Fenn, M.B. (Editors) Imperial College Press. London and Singapore.
13. Hench, L.L, Jones, J., Fenn, M.B. (Editors) New Materials and Technologies for Healthcare. (2011) Imperial College Press. London and Singapore. (Textbook)